How often do you add chicks?

kklowell

Songster
Mar 2, 2018
234
416
116
Bridgton, Maine
My flock consists of 11 birds that I got this past March, we're getting a half-dozen eggs per day on average now. The breeds are Golden Comets (4), White Leghorns (2), White Plymouth Rocks (2), RIR (2), and Silver-Laced Wyandotte (1). I'm thinking I should add another six chicks in the spring next year. That will, I expect, give me 17 hens laying by fall next year if I'm lucky enough to not get any males. But, I'm wondering if adding six birds a year is too often. My goal is to maintain a large enough flock to sell some eggs, but not so large that I'm constantly running out of coop/run room.
Should I just not even worry about it until year two?
 

song of joy

Crowing
7 Years
Apr 22, 2012
1,191
653
251
Central Pennsylvania
My flock consists of 11 birds that I got this past March, we're getting a half-dozen eggs per day on average now. The breeds are Golden Comets (4), White Leghorns (2), White Plymouth Rocks (2), RIR (2), and Silver-Laced Wyandotte (1). I'm thinking I should add another six chicks in the spring next year. That will, I expect, give me 17 hens laying by fall next year if I'm lucky enough to not get any males. But, I'm wondering if adding six birds a year is too often. My goal is to maintain a large enough flock to sell some eggs, but not so large that I'm constantly running out of coop/run room.
Should I just not even worry about it until year two?
Hens tend to lay fairly well the first couple of years, so adding replacements every other year works well. However, this assumes you don't mind a break in production when the hens cease laying in order to molt. To maintain production, some folks make sure they have pullets coming into lay in late fall/early winter, which coincides with the older hens winding down to molt.
 

SueT

Crossing the Road
Premium member
May 27, 2015
7,350
19,223
777
SW MO
I've added a few each year, this being the 4th year. I like to try new breeds. I like to have replacements for the 1 or 2 lost to predators each year. I like to have new pullets laying when all the older hens go into molt and stop for the winter. I added 2 one year, 6 the next and this past spring I got 5, but 3 were cockerels so I sold 2 of those. Now that I have a rooster, I will be able to let a broody raise replacements next year.
As long as there is room to add chickens, I'd say go for it. But you'll want to have a plan for subtracting as well as adding....
 

snow5164

Crowing
May 16, 2015
2,547
3,376
402
I hate the whole process of adding young ones in so... we divided our run in half and added another coop beside the other one . Now as the hens reach 2 years or so it’s time for chicks , that way one of the flocks are always laying well .

This is one run full.. the other one behind it has 9 week olds
 

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coach723

Crowing
Feb 12, 2015
4,375
8,053
491
North Florida
Like many others I add every other year for the most part, some years I hatch, some years I buy. I get pretty steady eggs that way, and can allow my hens to 'retire' and live out to a natural death without having to cull for numbers, and not have too many birds (too many based on space - if space was unlimited there would be no such thing as too many! :)). It has worked well for me, I usually have between 18 and 24 birds, which keeps me in eggs with a few to sell to neighbors, but it depends on what your goals are.
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
10 Years
Nov 12, 2009
7,335
7,128
536
western South Dakota
I like the flock, I always have birds leaving the flock, so adding to the flock is important too. I add some new birds each year. This year I have added chicks in March, and just gave 5 to a broody hen. Three are going out before fall....yeah I know, the numbers don't add up or subtract down exactly... but hey, chicken math.
 

kklowell

Songster
Mar 2, 2018
234
416
116
Bridgton, Maine
I'd love to have a hen hatch some eggs and raise some new members of the flock, but my wife is dead set against letting the rooster in with the girls. Why then do we have a rooster you ask? Well, it's because when my wife was a child her grandmother always had a rooster, so the crowing our guy does takes her back to her childhood.
 

RWise

Songster
7 Years
Dec 25, 2012
1,270
998
216
Oakhurst Oklahoma
I add new chicks every year, and sell off some of the older birds to those who only want pets or bug eaters. I do include a few young girls too, kindof a mini flock. I keep the ones I want,,
But I also let the girls hatch in the dead of winter, at first it was odd to see chicks out scratching in the snow, but all went well. And less predators awake,,,
In the spring/summer I incubate, off to the outdoor brood house at 2-3 days old, and to the main coop at 5 weeks.
 

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